Sensitive teeth are those that cause a shooting and radiating pain whenever you eat anything too hot or too cold. It can be highly annoying as sensitive teeth can prevent you from eating the foods that you like. Once the outer enamel of the tooth is eroded, the sensitive tubules in the dentin layer of the teeth become exposed to the food and send a shooting pain, which can radiate right up to your jaw.
Luckily, you do not have to suffer in silent agony if you suffer from sensitive teeth. There are some clear-cut measures that you can take to desensitize sensitive teeth.
Tips to Desensitize Sensitive Teeth
Brush teeth with Desensitizing Toothpaste
Special toothpastes are now available which help to reduce tooth sensitivity. Brush your teeth with these toothpastes twice daily. This should give you some amount of temporary relief from acutely sensitive teeth.
Use a soft toothbrush
If you have been regularly using a hard bristled tooth brush, this may gradually erode the enamel layer of your teeth and cause tooth sensitivity.
Instead, opt for a soft bristled toothbrush, which does a good job in cleaning the teeth and also protects the enamel from being eroded. Also, make sure that you replace your toothbrush every 2-3 months as the bristles of the toothbrush are damaged over a period of time.
A specially formulated mouthwash is now available for sensitive teeth. This prevents the invasion of the tooth enamel from highly acidic foods that can possibly corrode the enamel. Rinse your mouth with this fluoride rinse or mouthwash.
A special varnish is available with your dentist. This can be applied all over the sensitive teeth and does a good job of protecting the teeth. It is a fluoride based varnish. Ask your doctor to prescribe one for you.
A good home remedy for sensitive teeth is to apply desensitizing toothpaste on the affected areas of your teeth and leave it on overnight. Wash and rinse your mouth the first thing in the morning. This should get rid of the sensitivity to a great extent.
Avoid too Cold and Hot Drinks, Sweets and Chocolates
These are the common culprits, which can lead to horrible tooth sensitivity. Avoid them at all costs. Do not sip on hot beverages or cold drinks for a few days.
If you are applying desensitizing toothpaste, this should give you some relief. If not, show your teeth to a dentist as you could be suffering from a carious tooth.
Use gentle Strokes to Brush the Teeth
Always brush your teeth with gentle strokes. Vigorous brushing is just not recommended as it causes the tooth enamel to erode over a period of time. Always move the brush in up and down strokes to dislodge food particles without eroding the enamel of the tooth. The correct brushing technique can prevent tooth sensitivity.
Over time, food that is stuck in inaccessible areas of the teeth causes the build up of tartar and plaque, which makes the gum line, recede. Receding gums expose the root of the tooth, which can lead to massive tooth sensitivity. The permanent solution to this problem is to use a good dental floss, which cleans out the teeth well. This will prevent periodontal disease and gingivitis, which can also cause tooth sensitivity.
Reduce your intake of Acidic Foods
Highly acidic foods like soda, candies, ice cream popsicles and tea/coffee can cause dental erosion and subsequent tooth sensitivity. For long-term relief, it is better to reduce your intake of acidic foods. If you do consume acidic foods, ensure that you brush your teeth an hour after consuming these foods because that is the time period when the maximum acidic build up takes place. Reducing your consumption of these foods can prove to be fruitful over time.
See a Dentist
If the sensitivity is acute and you just cannot tolerate hot and cold foods, you have a problem. In such cases, it is better to see a doctor and get your condition evaluated.
There is a stark possibility that you may be suffering from dental cavities, which you are unaware of and which are causing the dental problems. In such cases a root canal, filling or tooth reconstructive surgery should help to eliminate the problem.
If the sensitivity is accompanied by severe pain, which does not go away on its own, make sure you take an OTC painkiller. Ibuprofen is a good option for toothache and sensitivity. It will give you temporary relief until you see a doctor.
Massaging the Gums
It is very important to also massage the desensitizing toothpaste over your entire gum region. This takes care of tooth sensitivity that has occurred due to receding gum lines. Massaging may help to numb the site and also promote blood circulation.
A stronger substitute for desensitizing toothpaste is a fluoride gel, which is used to treat tooth sensitivity. This gel when applied on the surface of the tooth helps to reduce the tooth sensitivity by strengthening the tooth enamel and preventing the passage of pain impulses from the surface of the tooth to the roots where all the blood vessels and the nerves are located. Apply the gel and leave it on for 3-5 minutes. Wash off after 30 minutes. Do not eat or drink anything soon after. Do this 4-5 times a day for best results.
This is a paste, which is used along with the fluoride gel. It is applied closer to the roots of the teeth. It helps to reminerlaize tooth rot and restore lost enamel. It however needs to be used over a period of time for best results.
If you have had dental work done like a root canal, tooth capping, crowning or fillings, your teeth are likely to be sensitive for some time. Under such circumstances, it is better to ask your doctor to prescribe some desensitizing toothpaste to give relief from tooth sensitivity. This will prove to be effective until your tooth completely heals.